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General Statement and Explanation of Position on Item 4
March 23, 2018

General Statement/Explanation of Position by the United States of America
as delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council, 37th Session
Geneva, March 23, 2018

Mr. President,

The United States is pleased to co-sponsor the resolutions on the human rights situations in the DPRK, Iran, and Myanmar.

The United States remains a leader in the fight to end impunity and supports justice and accountability for international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.  The International Criminal Court can play an important role alongside efforts to address international crimes by exercising its power judiciously within the limits of international law.  The United States has a continuing and long-standing principled objection to any assertion of ICC jurisdiction over nationals of States that are not parties to the Rome Statute, absent a UN Security Council referral or the consent of such a State.  In this regard, we wish to reiterate our serious and fundamental concerns with the ICC Prosecutor’s decision to seek an investigation into allegations against U.S. personnel in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan.  The United States respects the decision of those nations that have chosen to join the ICC, and in turn, we expect that our decision not to join and not to place our citizens under the court’s jurisdiction will also be respected.  We look forward to working to ensure that resolutions of this Council recognize more clearly those situations that are properly within the ICC’s jurisdiction.

This general statement applies in particular to the following resolutions:  Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Situation of human rights in Myanmar; and Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Thank you.